Wheel review

88 wheel co Maverick Review

Today we are reviewing the 88 wheel co Maverick. These are their premiere downhill wheel. Check out the review to find out how they perform.


  • Brand – 88wheel co. Mavericks
  • Height/Diameter – 80mm
  • Width – 66mm
  • Contact Patch –  65mm
  • Durometer – 76a High Rebound
  • Core Position – Offset
  • Core – Proprietary (it looks like the Kegel core but isn’t)
  • Price – $85

Interview with 88wheel co (Jeremy)

1. What were some design goals you had with the Mavericks?

J – The design goals were to make a fast, grippy, and fun wheel for downhill. Getting there was an interesting challenge.

The Mavericks were originally based on the 80mm Boa Sigma from my other brand. This wheel was primarily designed for electric skateboards and thus under powered load. After having the Sigmas on the market for a couple of years and seeing customers slide and abuse them with great success (no chunks), we were ready to begin work on making our first downhill focused wheel. I had spoken to Jacko and Hop (James Hopkin) about making a downhill wheel many years ago (Jacko initially was skeptical at first), but it was something that was going to need to take some time to get right.

maverick prototypes on Jacko Shapeiras longboard

In order to figure out what this wheel was going to be, we took the 80mm Sigma and poured a new urethane that we had spent 6+ months developing. These first prototypes were sent to Jacko for him to try and for us to gauge feedback. After the first few rides Jacko basically said, we have something here.

After 12 months of testing and iteration with Jacko and some other top-tier riders, we settled on the final design of the wheel which is what you see today.

prototype maverick

2. What sets the Mavericks apart from other wheels? They were quite grippy when I tried them. What makes their skin so grippy? They’re narrower than a lot of other downhill wheels.

J -The biggest thing that folks tell us time and time again is just how grippy the wheels are and how buttery the slides are. The real differentiator for the Mavericks is two-fold:

1. The core: Our core has a precision bearing seat that helps the wheel stay as true and centered as possible, thus giving you even wear and also control.

2. Our thane + manufacturing process. Our proprietary manufacturing process leaves the skins as pure as you can get.

3. This is your premier downhill wheel, any plans for anything other shapes/formulas in the future? Perhaps a more race-focused wheel?

J -So yes absolutely. We’re only just getting started, but we have more plans for other wheels and more race-inspired setups. We have some prototypes already that are in testing, but watch this space for more in the future.

88 wheel co maverick longboard wheels product shots

For more info about their design process and what sets them apart from other wheel companies and manufacturers, catch the interview we had here on Youtube.

Bonus – Pictures of the proto Mavericks

88 wheel co logo

88 wheel co Mavericks Review

How do they roll?

The Mavericks aren’t the fastest of wheels. They feel a bit gummier compared to other race wheels like the Alphas or Magnums, and they don’t accelerate as quickly.

Are they fast?

They definitely get up to speed alright though, and after that initial “push-off” phase, I didn’t truly notice a massive difference in speed between them and other wheels.

I definitely don’t think they’re a “race/top speed” wheel if you get what I mean. But they do, do ok in a straight line and I don’t feel like they’re slow at all.

88 wheel co maverick squish

How do they do over rougher roads?

They work amazing over rougher roads. They absorb a lot of road vibrations and have a fairly comfortable ride – you don’t feel every crack, or wave you ride over.

If comfort and rideability over less than perfect pavement is important to you, this wheel is a good choice to consider.

How do they slide?

Is the skin grippy?

I found the Mavericks to be one of (if not) the grippiest wheels I’ve skated. They had insane slowing down power but broke into the slide relatively easily.

However, my opinion is sorta controversial – a lot of people don’t share it. Some people don’t think they’re as grippy and their experiences with the wheels reflect that.

I found them to be seriously grippy – more so than other wheels I’ve tried. I found them to be a serious contender against Magnums and Cheetahs …However, it has been a long time since I skated fresh Magnums and Cheetahs and I’ve gained 10-13kg since I did, so maybe wheels grip differently for me now?

Until I can get my hands on fresh Magnums and Cheetahs, or a bunch of fresh DH wheels, take my opinion with a pinch of salt.

I think grip comparison videos are best done back to back – like what I did for the Magnums and Cheetahs. So I can’t back my opinion with 100% certainty.

They be grippy though.

Do they have loads of slowing down power?

With the skin, yes. They had a ton of braking power and I could take really aggressive lines around corners.

Does the skin last long?

The skin doesn’t last too long apparently. Some riders do a couple of pendys and it’s gone, but that’s not what happened for me.

For me, it took a while for the skin to go. It took a bunch of runs and a bunch of pendys for it to disappear.

riding the maverick

I’m not sure why my experience is so different – I even thought 88 wheel co sent me some protos instead of the actual wheels because what I’ve experienced with the skin doesn’t line up perfectly with what other riders have. It’s odd.

But yeah, the skin shouldn’t last you too long. They’ll be pretty grippy, but that skin should go away with a couple of big slides.

How do they slide without the skin?

Without the skin, they have a sugary slide that has a nice edge feel to it. This edge feels consistent and it doesn’t fight you much.

They feel like the green Krimes sometimes – you know, how the Krimes feel just as you’ve gotten through the skin? More sugary than buttery with a ton of edge feel? Yeah just like that.

Are they grippy without skin? 

Without the skin they don’t slide aggressively and don’t have too much stopping power. They feel more like a big freeride wheel, than a downhill wheel.

They don’t hold lines as well as Magnums or Cheetahs without the skin do, and they don’t slow you down as much either.

88 wheel co Maverick inner lip

They’re slippery enough that you can comfortably stand up slide them and have a mix of hands-up and hands-down riding.

However, they do slow you down enough that you can rely on them on open roads and you can take sorta aggressive lines through corners – you just may be scrubbing more than usual. So do keep that in mind.

Stand-up slide tips

My tips for stand up sliding these wheels are:

  • Lean up the hill more – especially for toesides.
  • Be aggressive with your weight placement. 
    • Eg. Really dig into them toes during toesides. It’s like slightly amplifying whatever you usually do on freeride wheels.
  • Don’t worry too much about the feedback.
    • Sometimes you’ll feel the wheel fight you back or feel weird during the slide. Just hang in there, keep your weight where it needs to be and you’ll be ok.
  • Be confident in your sliding – they reward a confident skater.

Are they consistent over different pavements (rough roads)?

For the most part yes. They might feel slightly grippier on newer roads, but this is the same for most wheels. They did feel a bit grippier on tarry, slick roads though.

I was really happy with how they did over rough roads as well. With how well they slid, I felt comfortable sliding them over chunder, or simply where the pavement wasn’t perfect. I only needed to worry about my pucks catching cracks and sharp edges lol.

Does temperature affect how they slide?

Yes. They feel grippier in the cold than they do when it’s hot out.

It’s winter for us Kenyans at the moment, so I got to ride them in 13*C.

They don’t become insanely grippy, but they do bite into the pavement a bit more.

toeside slide on the maverick wheels

Are they durable?

These wheels aren’t really that durable. You’ll go through them quickly.

I haven’t been riding mine too often or too hard, and they’ve worn down considerably over the last two months I’ve had them – they’re at about 75mm now.

I know a heavyweight (100kg IIRC) rider in Norway who wore his set close to the core in not too many sessions.

Obviously, factors like heat, weight, and how often you slide play a part, but they’re not the most durable wheel for sure.

Are they flat spot resistant?

Not really. Because they wear down quickly, it’s actually not too difficult to oval or flat spot them. I’d recommend being a bit diligent with how you slide.

I actually ovalled my set. This happened because I was riding a setup I wasn’t comfortable with and was doing a bunch of 90* slides at high speeds. 

88 wheel co Maverick outer lip

Fortunately, I was able to save the wheels before they were flat spotted, but lesson learned.

I don’t think they’re the best wheels for a beginner – especially if you can’t consistently keep your slides at an angle less than 90*. 

Do they chunk easily?

Surprisingly no. 

I have put these wheels through hell – I’ve skated them hard, rode through the city, rode over chunder, blasted aggressive stand-up slides, hill bombed unpaved roads – and they haven’t really chunked.

The lips on the wheels have also held up incredibly well – it’s hard to believe they’re the lips on a soft durometer, high rebound wheel.

worn down maverick longboard wheels

All other soft duro, high-rebound wheels – think 74a, 76a Venom Magnums, 75a Powell-Peralta Snakes, 76a Seismic Alphas, 77a Cuei Killers, and 75a Cheetah Hawgs. Have chunked or had their lips destroyed under the stresses I put them through. 

88 wheel co Maverick longboard wheels, cheetah hawgs, venom magnums

So it’s really impressive that the Mavericks haven’t – it seems whatever magic 88 Wheel co does during their manufacturing process that reduces the chances of chunking is legit.

Or is it that they haven’t chunked YET? Well judging by how the lips are holding up, I don’t think they will tbh. But stay tuned, I will update if it happens.

Do they thane?

Apparently, they do. They apparently leave thick, visible thane lines …

I say apparently because they’ve literally thaned for everyone else but me!

I see them thaning a ton in other reviews, in other people’s videos, and in other people’s testimonies. But for me? They might leave a barely visible line or two … it’s very frustrating tbh.

So yeah … I don’t why they haven’t for me. I weigh 80kg and have skated them in all sorts of temperatures from 13*C to 25*C, so I don’t know tbh.

Are the Mavericks right for you (should you buy them)?

What roads are they best for?

The ones you have!

They do great on chunder – slightly more comfortably than a lot of other wheels, with a lesser chance of chunking.

I think you should base your choice upon what type of riding you’re looking to do.

riding the 88wheel co maverick longboard wheels

What type of riding do you want to do?

If you want a big wheel with a lot of momentum that allows you to do stand-up slides comfortably, but that can still offer a fun hands-down riding experience? This is a great choice.

If I was going to an event like Straja, Tepe, or KNK, I would happily pick these wheels – also if I was exploring new spots and wasn’t sure about the road conditions, they’d make a solid choice too.

They’d allow me to skate hands down aggressively – you know maybe keep up a little bit with the hands-down boys, take a couple of runs with them. And then switch it up and do stand up with the freeride boys.

Also if you want to do freeride on your slalom-DH board (or narrow board), this is a good choice. They’ll give you a decent tracking width and allow you to get comfortable stand-up sliding your small board – they’ve been key to me getting comfortable riding my board this way.

If you’re also looking for a “freeride” wheel that can go as fast as a DH wheel, this is a good option too. I sometimes struggle with getting up to speed with those little <70mm freeride wheels.

IDK, up to you, but the above is my thought process about what would make these wheels worthwhile for me.

Are they worth the price?

At $85 they are cheaper than Magnums ($104.5), 80mm Alphas ($102), and Cheetah Hawgs ($95). They aren’t cheaper than Kegels ($69) – but I think Orangatang hasn’t gone through all their pre-covid sets of wheels, because the price simply doesn’t reflect the post-covid increase in manufacturing costs for wheel companies.

I think for what you get and the price of other wheels, you get really great value for money with the Mavericks.

What didn’t I like about the Mavericks?

There’s not a lot I didn’t like about the Mavericks – usually, my biggest issue with wheels is either an inconsistent slide, a slow roll speed, or chunking. None of which the Mavericks have been doing.

9.81 skateboards diego pro model

However, I do wish they were a bit more durable. No matter how we flip it, $85 is still a lot for a wheel. The other race wheels will likely outlast it and even though they cost more, your money may go a bit further – I’m still skating my Cheetah Hawgs despite getting them a while ago, they’re insanely durable … though I can’t skate them the way I skate Mavericks so there is that.

What did you think? Did you enjoy this review of the 88 wheel co Mavericks?

Shoutout to 88 wheel co for sending me these wheels to review. It is much appreciated.

I do recommend you try a set if possible. And do keep your eyes peeled, I believe 88 wheel co may be doing some exciting things in the future.

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